A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVxaYk3CBJk
Poll 23 - "Why is it impossible to exceed the speed of light? Because our universe is being created one planck length at a time, at the speed of light." Poll ended September 20th, 2008. 66% agreed while the rest disagreed.
I wonder if some people disagreed with the above statement because of my choice of the word "created": terms like this can be confusing when the universe we're imagining is really just being observed one planck length after another from out of a wave function of probably outcomes. As Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation has it, and as this project also has it, the other possible universes continue to exist out there within timelessness, they're just not the version that we're observing at this "now" within spacetime. In quantum mechanics, then, references to "collapsing" the wavefunction through observation are really just talking about "observing" the wavefunction: according to this way of thinking, whether you use one term or another, you are really talking about the same process.
The Speed of Light Cannot Be Exceeded within Spacetime
In my book I talk about the speed of light being an independent constant: no matter how fast you travel, no matter how close to the speed of light you get, light continues to travel at the speed of light away from you. In my book I suggested that this is because of our reality is really being created (or observed) by quanta, "slices" of the universe that each exist one planck unit of spacetime away from the next. I also described how this effect would be the same not only with your speed but your direction in time: and in a fanciful mental exercise, we imagined some "reverse time aliens" constructed from the chemical processes that make just as much sense in time's opposite direction. Those reverse-time creatures, then, would also experience the speed of light as an independent constant, and even if they were to travel at close to the speed of light in time's opposite direction, they too would find that the speed of light didn't change and it would continue to move away from them at the same speed.
The October issue of Scientific American has an article on Loop Quantum Gravity, which talks about a concept called "atoms of spacetime". While atoms is an unfortunately confusing term to use in this discussion, it is the same idea that my way of visualizing the dimensions uses: our reality, and our experience of time and space, appears to be continuous, but in fact it is created by a mesh of quanta, or "atoms" of spacetime that are each one planck length away from the next: my entry "The Flipbook Universe" is one of a number of blog entries that talk about this idea.
Plus or Minus
According to Michio Kaku in his thought-provoking "Physics of the Impossible", Einstein's most famous equation is not accurately represented: rather than E = mc squared, the more correct representation is E = ±mc squared. In "You Are Me and We Are All Together" I also talked about the idea that physicists generally agree that antimatter is just matter traveling in time's reverse direction. All of these ideas tie together into a deeper understanding that our experience of time's arrow is really not the full picture of reality, and this is something I've discussed in blog entries like "Time is a Direction" and "Time in Either Direction".
One of my most popularly viewed blog entries in the last couple of months here has been "Moving Dimensions and Synchromysticism", in which I talk about the mind-bending work of Jake Kotze, and the mind-bending Moving Dimensions Theory (MDT) of Dr. Elliott McGucken, the brief summation of which I will quote again here:
This idea is easily related to my way of visualizing the dimension, I believe, and gives us an intuitive way to understand the quandary of why the speed of light doesn't change, no matter what direction in space you travel, and no matter whether you're traveling forward or back in time. Bravo, Elliot McGucken!The only way to stay stationary in the fourth dimension is to move at the speed of light. Ergo the fourth dimension is expanding at the rate of "c" relative to the three spatial dimensions.
To close, here's the video blog for another entry which talks about Moving Dimensions Theory. A direct link to this video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzlRuygMGHY
Enjoy the journey,
Next: Create a Universe with One Easy Click
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